Continued from here…
Plot Link on PSF
Cylus 8th of 719
The two men grinned at each other, patting their empty palm with the blunt edge of their cudgels as they advanced towards her. She for her part was readying her mace, with one hand doing a figure-eight motion with the bludgeon, while the other hand gripped the haft of the spear. She lowered her stance, bending at the knees to be ready to spring into the attack.
What ensued was a bit of sloppiness, on the parts of all involved.
As the first thug approached, bearing his cudgel over his head, Alora swept with the mace at his shin, causing it to cave into the pressure of the blow. The man screamed, but not before landing a knock on Alora’s right shoulder.
The next man came charging in, his staff ready to fend in the front. She unearthed the but of the staff, and then began a bit of a fencing maneuver with it, one-handed against the staff. The blunt point of the staff landed on her stomach lightly, then her left shoulder. Barely enough to cause damage, but enough for her to feel it. Yet she made him pay for every landing.
The spear tore open his sleeve, leaving a gash there, and a puncture wound in his leading shoulder.
The man that whose shin she’d crushed was crawling after her, sweeping his cudgel this way and that. It found purchase on the back of her knee, nearly spraining it. Her counter was to knock the cudgel out of his hand with her mace. Finally seeing how handicapped she was in attempting to fight with a spear in one hand and a mace in the other, she dropped the mace. She retreated backward with the spear leveled at either assailant.
One might’ve presumed that the man with the crushed shin would be out of commission then, but he kept throwing clumps of dirt, sand, rock, and mud at her, which caused her to compensate in such a way that it was easy for the staff user to fend off any counters with the sharp iron spear.
They parried and contended, deflected and blocked, wood clacking on wood, and metal scraping against leather. Finally, the staff user had her at a disadvantage, and she had no more ground to retreat towards.
The staff wielder made a feint for her head, and then went low and thrusted into her solar plexus. It wasn’t too hard a blow, given the feint maneuver, but enough to send her bowling backward, dropping the spear.
Then, as if on cue, a series of whizzing arrows shot through the night air, thunking into the flesh of the tourist that was on her.
The cudgel didn’t know what was happening, and kept pelting Alora with sand and dirt, she lifted her arms to defend her eyes, simultaneously pushing away the tourist that had fallen on her, paralyzed by the arrow shot to his neck.
The man with the broken shin was put down similarly, with a few more arrows for good measure.
By the time the dust settled, and Alora lifted herself up to see that the men around her were indeed dead or as good as, she looked up to note the silhouette of a man atop one of the sodden rooves. The man was tall, but slender, with a flowing mane of orange hair and green eyes she could see in the dark. He wore scarlet leathers, accoutrements adorned the armor with pauldrons, greaves, and sabatons. But otherwise he was lightly armored. He slid down to the alleyway where she’d just been fighting, and saluted her. She could see the mark of a silver circle on his forearm. ”You don’t look much worse for wear.”
He said in a tremulous voice. ”Good thing I came along when I did. Looks like those tourists had you on the backfoot.”
Alora smirked, and shrugged, ”Looks are deceiving. I would’ve had them in the palm of my hand, had you waited but a few more moments. But… I thank you for your help all the same.”
”I’m Ausian Karyl. Acolyte in the Temple of Raskalarn.”
He said, extending his hand.
She looked at his hand with a quirked brow, and nodded to him, holding the spear in a vertical position as she nodded. ”Pleasure to meet you Ausian. I’m the Captain of the Candlewives.”
She said, purposely omitting her name.
He said, scratching the back of his neck. After a few moments of what seemed like contemplation, he sheathed his short bow into it’s leather holder at his hip. Then he withdrew his hand. ”Can’t say I’ve heard of the Candlewives’ company. What…”
Alora waved off the question that was coming, somewhat annoyed that she hadn’t made a name for herself yet. ”Nevermind what our company does. When we do something worth noting, you’ll hear of it. Trust me.”
He sniffed the air, taking a step back in ease. ”Well, I ought to get on with…”
At that moment, they heard the whirring of a projectile flying through the air. The ground near Alora cracked as a sling stone skipped on it, narrowly missing her. She instantly went into a front hanging guard with her spear, scanning the rooves and the horizon for more assailants.
Ausian whipped his shortbow out of its sheath with lightning swiftness, and before Alora knew what he was doing, he drew an arrow over his shoulder and along the string, letting loose in one smooth motion. The arrow flew in an arc along into the darkness, landing with a thunk some twenty meters on.
Three more men rushed into the alley where they were gathered. Alora took point, allowing Ausian to pick them off from a distance if he wished.
The three tourists didn’t waste much time in engaging her. Each of them wore ragged padding, and piecemeal cheap armor and clothing. Their weapons were similarly of little note, a pair of cudgels and a pitchfork.
Predictably, the pitchfork took point for the tourists. The man wielding it held it from the back, allowing him to change direction of any strike in a fraction of a second. Alora approached carefully, passing his guard with the point of her spear. A half a second, and he was coming forward with the pitchfork. She managed to lodge her spear’s shaft into the prongs of the fork, and redirect it toward the side, using her superior leverage against a weaker grip. Sheh wrestled for just a moment with the pitchfork, before one of the men bearing a cudgel came forward.
He came at her from the other side of her engagement with the pitchfork. Having attained a measure of superiority over the tourst with the fork, she pushed it to the side, and snaked her way into his guard. This done, she did a half kick into his crotch as her back pressed against his chest. This done, once the leg was grounded again, she used the other to deliver a back kick into his stomach, which sent him sprawling.
Meanwhile, her spear had ran into the ground. As the cudgel wielder closed the distance, in an instant she lowered her spear, attempting to angle it toward his neck. Her grip on the spear was faulty though, and it merely grazed his shoulder. The cudgel slipped over her guard, and rapped her knuckles causing her to drop the spear.
She backed up speedily, taking her backup mace out of her belt. Her knuckles burned with the force of his blow, but she was able to ignore it for the moment. As he entered her guard once more, she took the blow to her oblique, and shattered his skull with the mace.
He fell to the ground, effectively done with the fighting.
But the other cudgel bearer was nowhere to be seen.
That is, until she spotted a flaming arrow shooting off toward the side, finding it’s purchase in the flesh of the tourist, hiding behind a ramshackle crate.
Alora was about to thank Ausian, when she heard the pitchfork tourist’s battlecry sounding from behind her. She whipped around just in time to deflect the prongs of his fork. His charge had too much momentum for her not to be bowled over, and then wrestled on the ground.
Alora struggled against the shaft of his fork, which he brought against her neck, intent on snuffing her out. He held here there for a few seconds, her sputtering coughs heard throughout the alley. Just before she felt she was about to black out, the sound of arrows flying through the air sounded.
Plunk… plunk… scrack.
Two arrows in his back, and one in his skull. The man fell dead on her, trickling his foul blood over her. She breathed heavily for a few moments, before pushing him off of her.
Then Ausian appeaered above her, helping her to her feet. She still held a grip on her mace, which she slid into the ring on her belt. With a nod toward Ausian, she gathered up the rest of her weapons which lay strewn across the ground.
By the time she’d recovered her senses, she went over toward Ausian, and bowed her head in thanks. ”I owe you much, Ausian of Raskalarn.”
He seemed to flinch, whether at the suggestion or at something else, she wasn’t sure. Even so, he smiled, ”Don’t mention it. But if I may ask one favor?”
Alora stated simply.
She said, smirking at him. They laughed for a while, and then went off into the streets, to find territories that were less infested by wild tourists.